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Tuesday, 16 January, 2001, 14:17 GMT
The UK's crime hotspots
Inner city
Inner city crime rates are still a problem
Inner-city areas are still the worst for violence, robbery and burglary, according to the latest figures released from the Home Office.

The Metropolitan Police, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and West Midlands forces all recorded rising levels of crime.

National crime levels fell slightly, but violent crime increased by 8% with 716,500 offences reported, including 588,800 offences against the person.

We see people that don't ever want to go to the police

Victim Support spokesperson

But many more crimes go unreported, according to the organisation Victim Support.

A spokesperson said: "Looking at our own referrals we have seen a rise in racist crime by 100%, violent crime we have noticed a 20% increase.

"We see people that don't ever want to go to the police, people that will never ever be included in these statistics."

The spokesperson added: "We need to take into account that it's not just reported crime, but also that which goes unreported."

Offences in Greater Manchester increased by 1.7%, Merseyside was up 2.4%, the Metropolitan Police saw a 3% rise in reported crime, and in the West Midlands it was up by 3.2%.

Violent crime rates (per 1,000 people)
London 22.2
West Midlands 17
Greater Manchester 15.4
Nottinghamshire 14.3
Leicestershire 12.2
Merseyside 10.5
Northumbria 9.4
But some metropolitan forces claimed they were having an impact on crime.

Bernard Hogan-Howe, assistant chief constable of Merseyside Police, said: "We've actually reduced street robbery by 10% overall, in some areas where we have real problems we've got it down by a quarter.

"We have got the detection rates up as well."

West Midlands Police recorded the highest number of robberies in the country, outside London, with 4.1 offences per 1,000 residents.

Greater Manchester was next, with 3.7 per 1,000, while the London rate was 5.6 per 1,000.

Drug offences down

Nationally, there were reduced levels of drug offences, which fell by 11% to 115,500.

Trafficking offences accounted for 4% of these and crimes of drug possession dropped by 12%.

In total there were 90,465 robberies, 417,538 house burglaries and 358,276 car thefts.

Millgarth in West Yorkshire topped the burglary table, with 105 offences for every 1,000 households.

Officers on the beat
Home Secretary Jack Straw has promised more officers on the beat
But West Yorkshire's overall rate of 35.5 was exceeded by Greater Manchester's total of 40.6 per 1,000 homes.

As a force, Greater Manchester also recorded more car thefts than anywhere else, with 15.9 per 1,000 people, although the rate was higher in Birmingham city centre and Digbeth (101 per 1,000).

Motorists in Suffolk and Cumbria were least likely to have their vehicles stolen, with just 2.6 offences per 1,000.

Overall, 17 of the UK's 43 police forces recorded rising levels of crime.

Topping the list were Staffordshire, with a 13.4% rise, and Suffolk, up 10.8%.

Although Surrey and Hertfordshire suffered greater apparent rises in crime rates, these reflected boundary changes with the Metropolitan Police.

Distorted figures

Central Newcastle had the highest number of incidents of violence against the person, with 236.5 for every 1,000 residents.

But Northumbria Police spokesperson Fiona Todd said the figures were distorted.

"The resident population in Newcastle city centre is only 4,211 but that's boosted by hundreds of thousands who work and socialise there," she said.

"When crimes are rated per 1,000 the rate shoots up - last year there were only 996 offences of violence against the person, and we detected 71% of them."

The largest fall in crime was in South Wales, with 16.% fewer reported offences.

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Francis paid tribute to the "hard work" of everyone involved with the force, and said: "This significant reduction in crime will be very welcome to the people of South Wales.

"However, we will not be complacent."

Recorded crime figures by offence
Offence group 12 months to Sept 1999 12 months to Sept 2000 % change
Violence against the person 551,157 588,846 +6.8
Sexual offences 37,400 37,263 -0.4
Robbery 74,835 90,410 +20.8
Total violent crime 663,392 716,519 +8.0
Burglary 935,343 862,671 -7.8
Total theft & handling stolen goods 2,218,829 2,179,674 -1.8
Theft of and from vehicles 1,071,788 1,000,317 -6.7
Fraud & forgery 313,833 328,306 +4.6
Criminal damage 908,651 953,979 +5.0
Total property crime 4,376,656 4,324,630 -1.2
Drug offences 129,670 115,492 -10.9
Other notifiable offences 64,708 64,775 +0.1
Total all offences 5,234,426 5,221,416 -0.2
Source: Home Office
Notifiable offences recorded by the police by offence

Highest no. of offences
These figures represent the highest number of offences per 100,000 of the population in police force area October 99 - September 2000
Force areas No. of offences
Greater Manchester 14,436
Metropolitan Police 14,245
West Midlands 13,866
Nottinghamshire 13,363
Humberside 13,104
Source: Home Office

Lowest no. of offences
These figures represent the lowest number of offences per 100,000 of the population in police force area October 99 - September 2000
Force areas No. of offences
Dyfed-Powys 4,795
Surrey 5,026
Hertfordshire 5,617
Wiltshire 5,898
Essex 6,514
Source: Home Office
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